Saturday, 20 April, 2024
HomeEditor's PickOne in four Scottish babies died from co-sleeping

One in four Scottish babies died from co-sleeping

Parents are being urged to heed advice on co-sleeping with babies after new infant death figures were released, showing that more than a quarter of baby deaths investigated in Scotland last year involved co-sleeping.

The Solicitor-General for Scotland said the figures suggested some babies were dying in “high-risk” co-sleeping situations, after the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) – for the first time – tracked the number of babies who died while co-sleeping with parents.

During 2023, it received reports of 74 deaths of babies aged 18 months, reports BBC News.

Of those, it identified 19 who died while co-sleeping. In a number of cases the parent or carer had consumed alcohol or drugs.

NHS Scotland no longer urges parents never to bed-share with babies, accepting that some parents will do so, but it offers advice on making it safer, including the importance of placing babies on their backs, on firm mattresses, with pillows and bedding cleared out of the way to prevent suffocation or overheating.

Lynsey Kidd, executive director at the Scottish Cot Death Trust, said she was concerned by the figures.

“The evidence tells us that for the first six months the safest place for baby to sleep is in a flat, clear, separate space like a cot, a Moses basket or a crib, in the parents’ room.”


BBC News article – Safety plea over co-sleeping baby deaths figures (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Co-sleeping with your infant unsafe – American Academy of Paediatrics


‘Risky’ to fall asleep with baby – new NICE guidelines


Message on SIDS not getting through



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